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Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, dies at 66

February 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, has died at the age of 66, according to a medical examiner in Martin County, Fla.

Jones died of a heart attack Wednesday morning near his home in Indiantown, Fla., according to his publicist Helen Kensick. He had complained of breathing troubles early in the morning and was rushed to Martin Memorial Hospital South in Stuart, Fla., where he was pronounced dead.

"All of his family, friends and fans mourn Davy's loss," said Joseph Pacheco, Davy's manager and brother-in-law. "We were fortunate to have such an incredible human being in our lives. Sadly, his time on Earth was cut far too short and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him."

When "The Monkees" premiered on TV in 1966, the British-born singer quickly became a teen idol to screaming teenage girls everywhere. The Monkees, also including Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, were a made-for-television band inspired by The Beatles.

While The Monkees never achieved Beatles-like fame, the group enjoyed several hits in the late '60s, including "Daydream Believer," "(Theme From) The Monkees," "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm A Believer."

Jones' long hair and British accent helped Jones achieve heartthrob status in the United States.

"The Monkees" lasted for two years on TV, but members of the group would appear together occasionally for years to come.

"It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones," Tork wrote on his Facebook fan page. "His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. My deepest sympathy to Jessica and the rest of his family. Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy."

"David's spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us," Nesmith said in a statement.

Born in Manchester, England, on Dec. 30, 1945, Jones became a child star in his native England who appeared on television and stage, including a heralded role as "The Artful Dodger" in the play "Oliver." He earned a Tony nomination at 16 when he reprised that role in the show's Broadway production.

Jones played himself in a widely popular Brady Bunch episode, which aired in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school's Davy Jones fan club, promised she could get him to sing at a school dance.

The Monkees received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989, and flowers marked that spot on Wednesday. The Monkees' last appearance together was on "The View" last summer, reminiscing about some of the people who wrote their songs.

"The time we worked together, and had together, is something I'll never forget. Davy Jones was the brother I never had. The memories will last a lifetime," Dolenz said in a statement Wednesday.

Jones is survived by his wife, Jessica, and four daughters from previous marriages.

See photos of Davy Jones through the years.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Note: An earlier version of this story had a typo in the headline that has since been corrected